The Ford Flex is a great all-around crossover for drivers who want a little bit of everything. It has excellent handling, intuitive driver controls, and enough space in the back for stowing cargo. You may be able to find a used Ford Flex for around $30,000 or less, depending on the vehicle’s condition and mileage. Despite being dropped from Ford’s lineup years ago, the 2019 model remains on the higher end of the midsize market and has not depreciated much over the years, according to CarEdge.com.
Is the Ford Flex Reliable?
The Ford Flex has received middle to high reliability scores on major review sites. RepairPal gives it a decent 3.5 out of 5.0 rating, ranking it 7th out of 8 in its class. The Ford Flex has a fairly average annual ownership cost of $713. With proper maintenance, you can easily put 200,000 miles on your Ford Flex. Some Ford Flex owners recommend parking your vehicle indoors during the winter to improve your mileage and keep parts from rusting.
Common Ford Flex Problems
The Ford Flex is a fairly reliable vehicle, but it’s not without flaws. CarComplaints considers the 2010 Ford Flex to be the worst model in the lineup because its problems occur at lower mileage. If you’re looking to purchase a used Ford Flex, you should familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s most common problems to avoid unexpected maintenance and repair costs.
Ford has issued a recall on certain 2018 Ford Flexes due to loose connections between the power supply, alternator, and regulator. If these components aren’t secured, they can cause an electrical arc, which can increase the risk of fires. Ford dealers have been instructed to inspect these parts and verify that they’re connected. Any repairs will be done free of charge.
The alternator doesn’t just keep your Ford Flex’s battery charged. It also powers most of its electronic components, such as headlights, electric steering, power windows, radio, windshield wipers, and more. If the alternator fails, it can produce a couple of noticeable symptoms. The first thing you’ll notice is a drop in performance. A bad alternator will deplete the charge in the battery much faster, causing your vehicle to stall, idle, or not start at all. The lack of power from the battery will also cause some electronics to run slower than usual.
If you suspect problems with your alternator, you should call a professional to inspect your engine and electrical parts for loose connections and wiring issues.
Fractured Rear Toe Link
Suspension problems have prompted Ford to recall 240,000 vehicles, including certain Ford Flexes from 2013 to 2018. The rear toe links can fracture due to excessive movement in the suspension and cause the vehicle to crash. The American carmaker has offered to replace both left and right toe links on affected vehicles for free.
The rear toe link maintains the angle of your back wheels while you‘re steering. Without a rear toe link keeping your suspension stable, you can lose control of your vehicle. Most car manufacturers recommend checking your steering and suspension system every 50,000 miles, since parts tend to deteriorate quickly with normal to heavy use. You can also have your Ford Flex inspected by a mechanic for a complete diagnosis.
Faulty Fuel Pump Control Module
Ford has issued a safety recall for 2013 to 2015 Ford Flexes manufactured between September 12, 2011, and May 29, 2015, due to a fuel pump control module defect that caused affected models to stall or not start at all. In some cases, the fuel pump control modules on these SUVs would fail without warning, increasing the risk of a crash.
The fuel pump control module regulates the voltage supplied to the fuel pump by the electrical system to ensure optimal fuel pressure and delivery. If this module fails, the fuel pump won’t be able to supply the correct amount of fuel to the engine when you step on the gas pedal, causing the vehicle to stall, idle, or hesitate when accelerating. A bad fuel pump control module might even make it difficult to start the engine due to insufficient fuel pressure.
Although no incidents have been reported, you can’t ignore a failing fuel pump control module. If your SUV shows any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned, don’t hesitate to get your Ford Flex inspected by an expert mechanic. Replacing a bad or defective module can help you avoid random engine problems down the line.
Disabled Electronic Power-Assist Steering
Almost everything in the Ford Flex is controlled electronically, including its Electronic Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS). The EPAS is designed to increase a vehicle’s efficiency by enhancing its power steering control on gravel and twisting roads. Many Ford Flex owners have reported problems with the EPAS randomly shutting off while driving. When the EPAS fails, the driver will have to exert more effort in steering. A bad EPAS can ultimately result in total engine shutdown and loss of control. Ford Flexes manufactured between 2011 and 2013 are known to have defective EPAS systems.
If you hear a whining noise when turning or your steering wheel feels stiff, you should pull over to the side of the road and call a towing service to take your Flex to the shop. Even though you can still drive without an EPAS, there’s a big chance that your engine will shut down in the middle of driving. For your own safety, don’t drive until you’ve had your EPAS repaired.
Overall, the Ford Flex offers excellent performance, a user-friendly infotainment system, and ample cargo space in a midsize package. However, the Ford Flex’s most severe issues make it difficult to recommend to budget-conscious buyers. The high sticker price may also be a turnoff, as newer models still cost quite a bit of money and have a slow depreciation rate. If you’re willing to keep up with the Flex’s fairly average ownership costs, you may be able to enjoy the best this SUV has to offer. Just make sure to ask your seller about your chosen vehicle’s maintenance and repair history to avoid any unforeseen costs.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.